Legal Question in International Law in Texas

A resident of Texas, met a lady online from Columbia. He made a trip there and ended up getting married to her while there. Has sent money every month and sent her thousands of dollars (supposively for emigration papers costs) over the past 4 yrs trying to get her to the US. He has not been able to contact her for some time. My question: Is the marriage legal here in the US? Does he have to claim her as his spouse, as this will affect his retirement annuity and he cannot even find her and has given up hope of her coming to the US. He listed her as his spouse 4 yrs ago and if he retires they will withhold part of his retirement for surviving spouse annuity ($418/mo). He would like to remove her as his spouse but does not know if the marriage in Columbia will considered legal here for this purpose.

Asked on 1/15/14, 6:34 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Mark Dunn Mark D. Dunn

The bottom line is this: You cannot prevent somebody from divorcing you just by hiding out.

Spouses vanish all the time (they just leave, and nobody knows where they are). You file for divorce, and serve the absent spouse by publication. Any divorce lawyer knows how to do this.

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Answered on 1/15/14, 1:48 pm

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